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The Future of Digital Asset Management (DAM)

From Images to AI: How CELUM and WoodWing Are Embracing Innovation to Stay Ahead in the Evolving Landscape of Digital Asset Management.

Welcome back to Creative Operations, where we will be exploring the future of Digital Asset Management (DAM) and how two leading providers are preparing for it. In today's world, businesses of all sizes are producing and managing an increasing amount of digital assets, ranging from images, videos, audio files, and other types of content. As a result, the demand for digital asset management solutions is skyrocketing, and the market is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

To shed light on the future of DAM, we have invited representatives from two prominent providers in the industry, CELUM, and WoodWing, to share their insights and strategies. In this interview, we will be discussing how these providers are addressing the current and emerging needs of their clients, and how they are preparing for the future of DAM. We will also be exploring their views on the impact of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, on the DAM landscape.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the future of digital asset management and the strategies being employed by two leading DAM providers, you're in the right place. Let's get started!

The Virtual Space our DAM Providers Occupy

As we explore the future of digital asset management, it's important to understand the space occupied by providers such as CELUM and WoodWing. When asked about CELUM's approach, our interviewee highlighted their focus on delivering outstanding product experiences for their customers' prospects. CELUM's differentiation from conventional DAMs lies in its ability to support the full journey through the content supply chain and manage complex environments with vast amounts of assets, users, and integrations.

Similarly, WoodWing has established itself as an innovative and trusted partner to some of the world's biggest publishing brands, and a growing amount of organizations and industries that create, publish and distribute content. According to our interviewee, their flagship solutions - WoodWing Studio and WoodWing Assets - have helped organizations eliminate creative process inefficiencies, freeing up time to focus on strategy, storytelling, and standing out from the competition. By offering more efficient ways to work, WoodWing helps people spend more time on creative tasks than on finding, sharing, and collaborating on content.

Now that we have an idea of the DAM systems in question, let's see what their insights are on the future of DAM.

How Would you Define Digital Asset Management?

CELUM: For us, a digital asset management system must be designed to cover the entire content supply chain. Brands create, manage and distribute vast volumes of product content these days. They need tools to collaborate in shared project spaces, where they review and approve creative work, transform files into assets by adding metadata, manage everything in a powerful content hub, and route into any system or channel to get it in front of their target audiences.

WoodWing: Improving processes on where or how to store your assets like logos, designs or videos needs strategy and management. A DAM system enables both. Any file that is added to a DAM becomes a digital asset. Storing, finding, and using these files safely is the management system part. With our DAM solutions, you can work more efficiently, reduce costs, collaborate globally, and expand your business faster.

How is it (DAM) Being Used by Your Company?

CELUM: At CELUM it is all about being the most versatile, flexible, and powerful Digital Asset Management System on the market, for which we constantly add new features to our products. For instance, we offer CELUM Drive, our own content synchronization tool, allowing customers full GDPR-compliant governance. We also cover the online proofing process thanks to many features and our product CELUM Work, a perfectly integrated Kanban board solution. And it’s a lot about detail, like in clever file duplicate checkers or export functionalities, that allow you to export stills from any of your videos.

WoodWing: DAM is just one solution within the content supply chain. And, it’s a practice, not just a project. So, we offer integrations and products to create workflows that cross departments and take automation to the next level. Our DAM systems are customizable, and accessible through all kinds of apps, and files are always up to date, safe, enriched with metadata, and quickly shareable. This way, using that outdated image or logo by accident becomes a thing of the past.

What Does the Future of DAM Look Like to you?

CELUM: We have already outgrown the narrow scope of just managing files. It’s all about supporting the whole workflow from creating to distributing amazing content to the market. The challenge for all DAM tools will be to allow users to easily excite their target audiences at any touchpoint, delivering outstanding and individualized content experiences that are on brand. Additionally, the demand for more actionable data insights will continue to grow and must be satisfied by vendors.

WoodWing: AI is definitely a subject we have had our eyes on for a while already. It is not a new trend but for 2023 still worth mentioning as such since it is becoming more accessible for end users, like publishers and creative teams. It’s a time to experiment a lot and use what works. With AI also comes the subject of metadata; Search can be made extremely powerful and specific using metadata to enable users to search on brand-specific terminology (and acronyms), synonyms, multiple languages, similarity searches, and more. Artificial intelligence is utilized to augment and assist in better search results.

Instead of a stand-alone application, the DAM system will be deeply integrated into the customer’s tech stack. This includes positioning the DAM as a headless component within the stack. It’s something we refer to as DAM 3.0. WoodWing’s DAM solutions are available in the cloud. But we feel this should be an option because some industries are not ready to move to the cloud yet. Like some (inter)governmental organizations, for example. They ask for alternative options; to them, on-premise or private cloud might be a better fit. So, we do see movement towards more cloud-based, offering other options remains important though.

What is Your Company Doing to Stay on top of the Latest Trends in Digital Asset Management? 

CELUM: We always were part of defining the trends in the industry and continue to do so. CELUM addresses the entire workflow from create to distribute, but with the revolutionary benefit of our users being able to build individualized content experiences for each of their target audiences. That can range from customers, colleagues, vendors, partners, the media, etc. Each target group can enjoy curated content that is easy to access, search, resize, and download to create exceptional content exploration experiences.

WoodWing: We are continuously investing in the security and interoperability of our solutions. We offer WoodWing Connect, an iPaas / low-code solution to quickly embed our products into the customers’ tech landscape and to quickly integrate with hundreds of other services. Our API makes it easy to integrate with the latest technology, including AI.

In Conclusion:

The future of digital asset management is already upon us, with both CELUM and WoodWing highlighting the importance of supporting the entire content supply chain. The focus is no longer solely on file management, but on enabling users to create, manage, and distribute outstanding, personalized content that is delivered seamlessly across multiple channels. While CELUM emphasizes individualized content experiences, WoodWing looks to invest in security and interoperability. The key challenge for all DAM tools is to allow users to create compelling and on-brand content that excites their target audiences at any touchpoint while providing actionable insights that can be used to optimize performance.

From our discussion with both DAM providers, it’s clear that artificial intelligence (AI) will play a major role in digital asset management. Both companies acknowledge this trend, with WoodWing in particular investing in the integration of AI and metadata to improve search capabilities. Additionally, the integration of DAM systems into the customer's tech stack, including the use of headless components and API integrations, will continue to grow in importance. While the shift towards cloud-based solutions is gaining momentum, it's important to note that alternative options, such as on-premise or private cloud, may still be relevant for some industries and organizations.

The evolving field of DAM is ultimately about enabling users to unlock the full potential of their content. By providing them with the tools and insights needed to create personalized, impactful content experiences, DAM systems can help businesses connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. As technology continues to evolve, the future of DAM looks brighter than ever before, with exciting possibilities for innovation and growth on the horizon.